David Coon, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Specialty: Television, Film, Advertising, Video Production, Cultural Studies, Gender & Sexuality, Suburbia

Coon, David

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: CP 310
Phone: 253-692-4825
Email: drcoon@u.washington.edu


  • Ph.D., Communication and Culture, Indiana University, 2008.
  • M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University, 2003.
  • B.S., Mass Communication, Miami University, 1997.
  • B.S., Business Administration, Miami University, 1997.


I love television. I love film. I love music, theater, advertising, architecture, theme parks, festivals and parades. My fascination with these and other aspects of our culture is what drives most of my professional work.

As a scholar and teacher I explore ideas and meanings in popular culture as they circulate among different media formats, including film, television and advertising, primarily in the context of the United States. I am particularly interested in the ways that our understandings of social identity (gender, sexuality, race, class, nation) are reflected in and shaped by popular media. I am also intrigued by the relationships between media and built environments such as cities and suburbs. I have a professional background in video and film production, and this experience shapes all aspects of my work.

My research and teaching are situated within a cultural studies framework. As such, I am committed to the critical examination of the trends of mass-disseminated popular media and the seemingly mundane patterns of everyday life, as I believe that this examination can help us to better understand who we are as individuals and as a society.


The bulk of my published work is built on the examination of media texts and the meanings that they convey. My newest research involves an examination of the culture of contemporary media industries by way of individuals and organizations who work as a part of that culture. I am interested in organizations that generate and distribute content that is by, about, and for members of various marginalized groups in our society, such as LGBTQ communities and residents of the Appalachian region. By examining the efforts of those who work outside the mainstream media industries, I hope to provide empirical evidence and critical insights into the exclusionary nature of mainstream media, its failure to accurately represent the diversity of the American people and the potential for individuals and small companies to challenge the status quo.


I teach courses that ask students to examine and produce various kinds of media. In general, the content of the courses is driven by the desire to understand how meanings are generated and circulated through audio-visual media in our culture. Past courses at UW Tacoma include:

  • TCOM 201  Media and Society
  • TCOM 247  Television Studies
  • TCOM 347  TV Criticism and Application
  • TCOM 351  Video Production
  • TCOM 440  Advertising and Consumer Culture
  • TCOM 499 - Special Topics: Media and Culture of the 1980s
  • TFILM 272  Film Studies
  • TFILM 483  Film Directors (Tim Burton, David Lynch)
  • TFILM 488  Gender and Sexuality in Film

Selected Publications

  • Coon, D. R. (2014). Look Closer: Suburban Narratives and American Values in Film and Television. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Coon, D. R., & Walker, I. (2013). From Consumers to Citizens: Student-Directed Goal Setting and Assessment. In D. Knowlton and K. Hagopian, (Eds.), From Entitlement to Engagement: Affirming Millennial Students' Egos in the Higher Education Classroom (pp. 81-87). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Coon, D. R. (2012). Building Suspense: Spaces, Boundaries, and Drama in Hitchcock's Rear Window and Psycho. Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, 2(3), 55-68.
  • Coon, D. R. (2012). Sun, Sand, and Citizenship: The Marketing of Gay Tourism. The Journal of Homosexuality, 59(4), 511-534.
  • Coon, D. R. (2011). Putting Women in their Place: Gender, Space, and Power in 24 and Alias. Feminist Media Studies, 11(2), 231-244.
  • Coon, D. R. (2010). From the Margins to the Mainstream: Communication about Travel and Tourism in the Gay Community, 1960-2000. In J. Elledge (Ed.), Queers in American Popular Culture (Vol. 3, pp. 197-207). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
  • Coon, D. R. (2005). Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Selling of Charlie's Angels and Alias. The Journal of Popular Film and Television, 33(1), 2-11.


  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • University Film and Video Association
  • Cultural Studies Association
  • Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Professional Service

I try to support Tacoma's Grand Cinema and the local film community in general by helping to organize screenings, leading discussions and judging film festivals and competitions.